“What can I get y’all boys?” I ask sweetly, still avoiding his eyes.
“We’ll take a round of SoCo for starters,” the chunky one states with a wink.
“Five SoCos, comin’ right up,” I say as I go to grab the shot glasses. Then I hear his raspy voice, and my body betrays me. Stop it! Don’t do that! Everything within my body comes alive with the sound of his voice.
“That’s four shots and a Coke,” Wesley states. I turn on my heels quickly.
“Coke? Are you sure?” I question, and he nods in agreement. “You want it in a shot glass, too?” I ask like the smart ass I’ve become over the years.
With a husky laugh, he answers, “Whatever you want to do, Pumpkin.” I stiffen at the name, but don’t turn around. I haven’t been called that since the day he rode away. After gathering myself together, I pour him a shot of Coke into a glass. He smiles when I place it in front of him.
“Come on, Pumpkin. Pour yourself one. I think me rollin’ back into town calls for a toast.” I roll my eyes, and then Paige hands me a shot glass of Coke. Raising my glass, I put one hand on my hip and wait for his toast. “Here’s to us, Pumpkin. Past, present, and future.” I clink my glass and when it touches my lips, I quickly realize it’s not Coke, but rather sweet cinnamon that burns the entire way down. I’m thankful to have Paige to count on when I need it most. Slamming down my shot glass when I finish, I turn and walk out of the bar and into the back room, holding myself together until I’m alone.